TWITTER SUMMIT ON AGING

I got another email today. The kind sender was wondering if I might want to consider a walk-in tub. Good God. I am getting more and more of these horrible spams: for scooter chairs, revolutionary joint remedies, vitamins that will keep me sexy, and bunion pads. I am most unhappy about this, and my junk folder is getting bigger and bigger.

So I did what any normal person in this day and age would do. I tweeted about it. Suddenly, people from across the world (Twitter is amazing) began comparing notes on getting old. And none of it was pretty.

How is it that one day, a person is young and vigorous, and the next day, a senior citizen? Why is it that all old ladies look alike? I often wondered how knee high panty hose, on just about every girl’s verboten list, becomes a fashion necessity for so many ladies of a certain age?

Maybe it’s that first chin hair. You are stuck in traffic, fuming, when you glance in the rear view and see what looks like a wire growing beneath your chin. Horrified, you try to pull it out, but it’s an entrenched little bugger, and so you go to your dental appointment in absolute mortification.

Arthritis sucks. It sneaks up on your knees and fingers. Those agile digits that could untie any knot now can’t even open the jar of peanut butter. I never used to make snapping noises when getting out of chairs, but now my knees seem to lock up just to spite me. I have tried clearing my throat as I rise (a clever cover up, or so I thought), but both my children noticed it and wondered if I have some sort of nervous tic.

Queen Elizabeth is in her eighties, and she never seems to give out. I wonder if she has insomnia or sleep interruptions, like so many of us Baby Boomers. I picture her nudging Prince Philip and saying something like “Bloody stop that snoring, you numpty! You know I have to address Parliament in the morning!”

I sailed through my forties and into my fifties, eating onions, chili, garlic, and all sorts of fibrous delectables. Not a problem for my vigorous digestive system. And then one day an onion attacked me, and I haven’t been the same since. My heart burns. My lower gastrointestinal tract rebels disgustingly. I have burped audibly at parties. So now I have to carry around little packets of things like Gas-X and Beano. This is most distressing, and I have lost quite a bit of my savoir faire, I can tell you.

My twitter buddies also despaired about mood swings, those little necklaces that attach to reading glasses, arriving in a room with absolutely no idea why you hurried in there in the first place, falling asleep in movies, and hot flashes. My God, how can anyone refer to these years as “Golden?”

There are a few compensations. I can’t wait to get to the age where I can say “To Hell with dieting—no one cares what I look like. Pass the cake.” And they are making very good looking elastic-waisted pants these days. Metamucil comes in orange flavor. And the person who invented Botox cosmetic may one day be a saint…

(I want to thank my Twitter pals @ChloeJeffreys, @OKRoserock, @JustRene, @caffeinehusky, and all of those great @ebww women for helping me out on this one!)

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